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Once relegated to the D-list gym teams and the lunch tables closest to the garbage cans, misfits and superfans of every breed have reclaimed the “nerd” word and made geek culture into its own cool kids’ club. There’s internal stratification (based on niche knowledge and gaming ability), barriers to entry (can you make a realistic set of armor, or learn to speak Elvish?), and a certain satisfaction in letting everyone know you’re one of the gang. And where other crowds find community at country clubs or leather bars, for nerds, there are comic-cons.
This weekend, thousands of out-and-proud geeks will descend on Mount Vernon Square for Awesome Con, D.C.’s second annual comic convention, a melting pot of subcultures under the umbrella of geekdom. Where do you belong, and where should you go? Use our mathematically sound Venn diagram to plan your attack—with foam-and-cardboard weapons only, please.